Welcome blog party goers!

Ultimate Blog Party 2008

Hello! Welcome to A Beautiful Abode… I’m Shauntelle, and in case you’re a new visitor, this is my little home on the web, dedicated to providing inspiration, tips, resources, and projects to help you create a beautiful home on a tight budget.

In addition to being totally obsessed with budget decorating, I’m a (soon-to-be) 34 year old at-home mom of three and freelance writer. I’m married to the sweetest man ever… he has to be as often as he agrees to drive to out of the way places for me to pick up the great deals I find on craigslist!

In honor of the party, I’ve been doing a little cooking. Originally I was going to host a tea party, but the day ran long so here we are having coffee and dessert instead. There’s an unending stream of Starbucks available… and there’s also chai and green tea if you’re not a coffee fan. The best thing I can offer though, is a yummy selection of scrumptious desserts. I’ve included the recipes as well, in case you’d like to try a few at home… after all, the great smell of baked goods makes every day a little better!

Blueberry Coconut Pound Cake Muffins

Blueberry Coconut Pound Cake muffins

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter and flour 7 (1/2-cup) muffin cups (just butter if nonstick).Beat together butter, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in cream, then flour and salt, on low speed until just combined. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut and gently stir in blueberries.

Spoon batter into cups, filling the cups, and smooth tops. Sprinkle tops with remaining 3 tablespoons of coconut.

Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean and edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Invert onto a rack and cool.

Racheal Ray’s Individual No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecakes

No-bake strawberry cheesecakes

12 strawberries
12 ounces softened cream cheese, 1 1/2 (8-ounce) bricks
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 individual gram cracker crusts, available on baking aisle

Coarsely chop 6 berries and place in food processor. Add cream cheese, sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and process until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fill pie tins. Garnish cheesecakes with slices of remaining berries.

Paula Dean’s Three Chocolate Cookies

Paula Dean’s Three Chocolate Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup milk chocolate morsels
3 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup almond brickle chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.With an electric mixer, beat butter and shortening at medium speed until creamy; gradually add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate morsels and almond brickle chips. Drop cookies by 1/4 cupfuls about 3-inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Fresh Fruit and Cheese

Fruit and Cheese
Grapes, brie, and pears… can’t get easier than that!

(photos and recipes courtesy Foodnetwork.com)


I hope you enjoy the desserts. Feel free to wander around while you nibble… and remember to drop in often because I’m always adding new projects, interviews, and inspiration to help you create a beautiful home on a tight budget!




18 thoughts on “Welcome blog party goers!

  1. Carmen says:

    What a dear to share those yummy recipes! I’ll have to cut & paste, saving these scrumptius treats! THANKS!

    Welcome to the party! Now that you’re here, let’s get this party started! There are so many new folks to meet. What a pleasure indeed!

    Peek in on us at GraceFULL Days & say hi before you go! Skip over the Vicks Caring Tributes & vote for my Gracie Cakes story as one of their finalists~ Thanks in advance. http://videos.vickscaringtributes.com/videos/index.html

    GraceFULL blessings to you & yours~


  2. A woman who is says:

    Mmmm I am checking out that muffin recipe. Decorating on a budget, love your ideas. When I was a young mom, I called my decorating style, Early Garage Sale. It worked for me. Your baby room is so sweet. I will have to send my daughter over here. My first granddaughter would look so adorable in that tutu.
    Stop by and see my little princess Eden.

  3. acupofjoy says:

    I’m inviting you to party with me!

    Win some chocolate from my-sister-in-law and I…we blog about CHOCOLATE…me from Australia…and her from Michigan. Here’s the link: http://thechocolistas.blogspot.com/2008/03/ultimate-blog-party-2008.html

    What am I doing in Australia? I married an Aussie…and moved to Brisbane, leaving my family and friends and all the right-side-of-the-road drivers in America.

    Win a handmade pocket place mat from my blog Comfort Joy Designs. Here’s the link:

    Want to know more about life in Australia? Visit my A Cup of Joy site where I keep up with my family and friends in America. Here’s the link:

    Happy Partying!

  4. Terri says:

    New reader here! Boy did I show up at the right time! I just got my first project for refinishing. My next door neighbor was throwing out a little table that has a cute octogon shaped top. I want to stip what looks like 10 layers of paint off of it and see what’s hiding under there. I think it’ll make a great plant stand. Anyway I was surfing for how to strip it and refinish it and found your blog!

  5. Courtney says:

    mmmm…don’t mind if I do…these look positiviely scrumptious. You had me at “pound cake muffins”…and then everything else sort of faded away. (Can you tell that baked goods are my weakness?)

    Thanks for the great post Shauntelle. Hope you have a great party week!

  6. healthyinsites says:

    Thanks for inviting me to your party! Your desserts are lucious; you must have baked all morning! And the aroma, heavenly! So kind of you to provide the recipes!

    Thanks for the decorating on a budget ideas.

  7. Bahama Mama says:

    Hi Shauntelle – Thanks for stopping by our Bahamas party! I am going to have to try that blueberry muffin recipe – as soon as I get the oven parts I need to fix my oven smuggled over in a suitcase 🙂 I like your blog. No craigslist here I’m afraid though!

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